A J Ellis
Cheating the Czar

Have you ever put a Starburst in your mouth and tried not to chew it? It’s about as impossible as hearing this track and not saying Elvis Costello. The comparisons are aplenty and we shall not deviate. Unless it’s to say that also, British expat and NYC homed A.J. Ellis, is in possession of an exquisite swoon; not dissimilar to the likes of Roy Orbison, in his most crooning of moods.

New release ‘Cheating The Czar’, sees a 1950’s rock-a-billy-swing take precedent, in what is ultimately a seduction in the art of the unpretentious. A guitar-pop spectacle at its finest: think Ezra Furman, but replace the unhinged punk vibe with a bit of polish, and add an injection of the indie vein.

Touring with the likes of Albert Hammond Jr and The Strokes, saw early to mid 2000 success for Ellis’s former band Five O’Clock Heroes. Previously sweeping the shores of his UK homeland and conquering Europe and NYC alike, Ellis now sets his sails and embarks on solo ventures anew.

‘Cheating The Czar’ is cleverly tuneful, melodically mellifluous and flawless in its execution. Impeccable lyricism, dressed to impress and suited in swing. The upbeat soundscape contrasts, in a complimentary fashion, with a slightly yearning vocal.

There’s no better track than one decorated so simply, yet concealing a myriad of secret intelligence. A beautiful release, from this months full length debut album: ‘Bury The Devil’, ‘Cheating The Czar’, proves Ellis may just be, the balladeer of a new alt ballad.

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